(Photo via cavaliers.247sports.com)
With just around 20 games to go before the NBA playoffs begin, people are beginning to lay out their NBA finals choices for postseason. We keep hearing the usual group of contenders; the Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder in the West and the Cavs and Raptors in the East. But when NBA fans make a final decision on who they think will actually take home the title, most reside with the typical choice, the defending champion Golden State Warriors. And there is no denying that the Warriors certainly can repeat as champs, as it seems ever clearer that Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and the rest of the team can eclipse the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ record 72-win season. However, while the awe factor still wanes on in the minds of NBA fans all over, many seem to forget the man who will certainly be around to end the party, and that man is LeBron James.
Because so many believe that the winner will eventually come out of the Western Conference, the Cavs surely know that they are being overlooked as potential champs. King James, the 4-time NBA MVP, will be geared with a vengeance come this postseason as he looks to dethrone the reigning champs. He put the Cavs’ title hopes on his back last year, as he took Golden State to 6 games in the NBA finals, even though he was without fellow stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Now, in a new year, LeBron has to be angry and even concerned that his title of “best player in the world” is in jeopardy. This leads me to believe that there is no way Lebron will roll over and allow this to happen to him and his legacy.
If the Cavs reach the NBA finals this postseason, that will be Lebron’s 6th consecutive trip. However, he only has two rings to show for it. He knows that his legacy is on the line to truly cement himself as the one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time. Furthermore, we know that Lebron in the playoffs is a completely different animal (Look back to last postseason with little to no help). He turns it up another gear and knows how to will his teams to victory, even if the game doesn’t look to be in their favor. So, if there was any team geared to exceed anyone’s expectations, it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers.
People have been wanting to see the Cavs Big Three blown up before they even get a chance to get started. Last year’s loss in the Finals definitely put some people in doubt, but Lebron has seen this story before. It happened back in 2011, when the Heat Big Three (Lebron, Wade, Bosh) lost in 6 games to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. That was also their first year together on the same team. What followed that poor display was back-to-back dominating years that led to two rings for the King. I would call it safe to say that doubting Lebron and his team’s capabilities to wreak havoc in the playoffs is premature and naïve. King James is ready to prove to the world that he belongs back on the championship throne, right where he belongs.
– J. Yellin